New York Times - 12/19/1986
"Nothing that Oliver Stone has done before...is preparation for the singular achievement of his latest film, PLATOON....A major piece of work, as full of pasion as it is of redeeming, scary irony..."
Entertainment Weekly - 07/08/1994 Rating: B+
Variety - 12/03/1986
"...Intense....Very effective scenes....An impressive-looking production in all respects..."
Los Angeles Times - 12/19/1986
"...This is movie-making with a zealot's fervor....[Stone] may have achieved a remarkable bridge with PLATOON. He has personalized a war for us..."
Total Film - 10/01/2000
"...With incredible set pieces and gripping firefights the belie the tiny budget, PLATOON's impact has barely diminished over the years..."
Uncut - 04/01/2006 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] phenomenon....Importantly, Stone captured something of what it felt like to fight in the war."
Description by OLDIES.com:
The first casualty of war is innocence...
Winner of 4 Academy Awards including Best Picture, and based on the first-hand experience of Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone, Platoon is powerful, intense and starkly brutal. "Harrowingly realistic and completely convincing" (Leonard Maltin), it is "a dark, unforgettable memorial" (The Washington Post) to every soldier whose innocence was lost in the war-torn jungles of Vietnam.
Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen) is a young, naive American who, upon his arrival in Vietnam, quickly discovers that he must do battle not only with the Viet Cong, but also with the gnawing fear, physical exhaustion and intense anger growing within him. While his two commanding officers (Oscar-nominated Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe) draw a fine line between the war they wage against the enemy and the one they fight with each other, the conflict, chaos and hatred permeate Taylor, suffocating his realities and numbing his feelings to man's highest value...life.
In PLATOON, Oliver Stone draws on his experience as an infantryman in Vietnam to convey the brutality of guerrilla warfare: the heat of the jungle, the brushes with such wildlife as snakes and leeches, and, most powerfully, the presence of the unseen enemy. Charlie Sheen stars as Chris, a raw recruit, or "new meat," who serves as the film's narrator. At first he wilts under the rigorous conditions of jungle life, freezes up in a fire fight, and wonders whether he'll be able to survive. But he gradually adapts and, as time goes by, begins to see that the platoon is divided into two groups. One consists of lifers, juicers, and subintelligent whites, the other of blacks and heads. Sgt. Barnes, a combat-loving burnout (Tom Berenger), is the informal leader of the lifers, and Sgt. Elias, a free spirit (Willem Dafoe), leads the latter group. When the platoon takes some gruesome losses, an enraged Barnes kills some Vietnamese and orders the burning of their village, outraging the temporarily absent Elias. As the conflict between these two reaches its tragic climax, Chris must decide what he really values. Widely regarded as one of the finest war films ever made, PLATOON reflects not only the United States' division over Vietnam but the timeless truths of battle: terror, disorientation, exhilaration, and horrible loss.
Essential Cinema |
Good Vs. Evil |
Theatrical Release |
Theatrical Release: December 21, 1986
PLATOON is number 83 on the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Greatest Movies.
Estimated budget: $6 million.
The film has grossed more than $150 million worldwide.
Oliver Stone's first choices for the roles of Barnes and Elias were James Woods and Kevin Costner, respectively.
Stone received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart during his service in Vietnam.